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Saxophone/L&H American Professional Chicage Sax



I have a unit that needs a lot of cleaning. Serial Number 12876. Any idea of the year of manufacture? Is it worth rebuilding?

Thank you,

Jess - that's an old school Lyon and Healy horn - maybe dating to the mid to late 1920's when the company was still located in Chicago.  If by cleaning you mean polishing or scrubbing or trying to remove any tarnish or patina then DON'T DO IT!!!

All saxophones will age naturally, and if your horn has any value whatsoever, a collector or player will want the finish to be unchanged by any natural aging.  If you want to simply display the horn, use a little brush, maybe a very lightly damp cloth, or a can of air to gently wipe or blow away fuzz, dirt or grime.

If you intend to play the horn, it will probably need more than "cleaning" and it may not be worth the cost to get it into performance condition.  This horn has outdated mechanisms and only a very small group of collectors might be interested in owning something of this vintage and quality.  It may also very well be a concert "C" pitched instrument that renders it basically useless altogether.

That being said, if the horn has any detailed provenance (like it can be shown and proved that it was played by someone famous on a notable performance or recording) then the value will be in its history.  Otherwise, it's probably just a very cool curio and maybe an old family heirloom that can be displayed in the corner of an office or den :P)

Cheers from Dallas - ec


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Eugene Cantera


I have been a music educator for over 25 years and have taught on many levels from young children and school agers on through to college level, professional players and senior citizens. My main areas of expertise are saxophone(s) though I have taught many instruments including, guitar, bass, piano, oboe and drums to name a few. I have also done research on horns both vintage and new.


I have been in music education for 25 years and I have written and published in the subject of professional music education.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Marketing and Higher Education Newsletter.

Bachelor of Music Education, Hartt School of Music - The University of Hartford.

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